Yesterday we had our first meeting as the grant writing lab (my name, we can find something better for it later) and together with @LizzieH, @soly and @Sa.rah discussed the current ECF Solidarity Fund.
There was a clear focus emerging from our discussion, and the idea we all liked would be some sort of playful exchange of skills between craftsmen and people producing objects in their free time - as a source of satisfaction, preservation of a skill, preventing that disappearance of the knowledge.
It does tick off some of the boxes:
expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody in times of inward-looking and national decision-making;
- express and act in hands-on solidarity with people and communities across closed borders;
share experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources of solidarity across Europe, especially outside mainstream public attention;
sustain people-to-people interaction beyond European borders and in times of travel restrictions and social distancing;
maintain cultural life and social experiences with a European outreach in times of home lockdown and prepare the ground for a cultural revival of Europe after the crisis;
develop new approaches in operations of cultural work and new alliances across sectors to deal with the current challenges imposed by the crisis.
I think it also has the potential of covering one or two more, and the task for us would be to meditate on these points and see how to strengthen the idea in the context of the call.
By exchanging and performing things that are physical and come in a box we create an inclusive environment that allows people without the internet or the elderly to get involved in the project as well. Another interesting aspect of the project would be to initiate an intergenerational exchange between places - and think how that could be integrated into the design.
It is also important to keep the design performative, so that tasks and ideas can be shared by gestures and visuals, without the need for words, so that we have a chance of overcoming the issues with literacy (rural Portugal) and variety of languages we will not know (Burkina Faso).
I think it would be also great to document and share the results on a site, building a framework and a repository for the future.
In times of uncertainty, the fact that the idea brings back the skills and knowledge to local level and makes good use of globalization, by exchanging knowledge but also looking for ways in which the knowledge could be applied in a new context, expanding our understanding of production, productivity, wisdom, experience, purpose, etc - we could be tapping into a more artistic and critical aspect of this project, not necessarily focusing on the usefulness of the outcomes of this exchange, but on values and relationships, it refers to/creates. And there is the aspect of free time/work tension, blurred often when it comes to creating objects no longer valued by the market, yet for various reasons, the production of it is continued by communities and individuals in their free time.
There were possible partners and inspirations coming up:
- people dealing with plastic waste in Portugal
- a crafts platform in Portugal
- communities in Austria
- responsible tourism and crafts in Burkina Faso
- Slovenian retirement home, where I did my work for Biennale of Design last year
We’d love to see if anyone else is interested in the idea and wants to join us next Monday, at 8PM CET? If so, leave a comment and I will send you a link to our next meeting.
We’re also interested in finding more grant opportunities if we see a potential of growing it wider and bigger. For now, a lot is on a very early stage and we’re also open to suggestions, ideas and input.
Considering that the grant is limited - max 50.000 Eur - I’d focus on 4-5 partners in various countries.
PS. I Re-read the FAQ and I found a confirmation of the partnership situation, the rules state: Working on larger ideas and notions of European solidarity of course can also involve partners from and outside Europe -as mentioned in our call.
We missed @MGrelewskil
And I am hoping that maybe @Coll1sion would be interested in having a look at it